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Murder Most Unladylike #1

Murder Most Unladylike

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1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up a secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls, they struggle to find a truly exciting mystery to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't.)

But then Hazel discovers the body of the Science Mistress, Miss Bell - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls have to solve a murder, and prove a murder has happened in the first place before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally),

But will they succeed?

And can their friendship stand the test?

350 pages, Paperback

First published June 5, 2014

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About the author

Robin Stevens

49 books2,058 followers
Robin's books are: Murder Most Unladylike (Murder is Bad Manners in the USA), Arsenic for Tea (Poison is Not Polite in the USA), First Class Murder, Jolly Foul Play, Mistletoe and Murder, Cream Buns and Crime, A Spoonful of Murder, Death in the Spotlight and Top Marks for Murder. She is also the author of The Guggenheim Mystery, the sequel to Siobhan Dowd's The London Eye Mystery.

Robin was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been making up stories all her life.

When she was twelve, her father handed her a copy of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and she realised that she wanted to be either Hercule Poirot or Agatha Christie when she grew up. When it occurred to her that she was never going to be able to grow her own spectacular walrus moustache, she decided that Agatha Christie was the more achieveable option.

She spent her teenage years at Cheltenham Ladies’ College, reading a lot of murder mysteries and hoping that she’d get the chance to do some detecting herself (she didn’t). She then went to university, where she studied crime fiction, and then worked at a children's publisher.

Robin lives in England with her husband and her pet bearded dragon, Watson.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,271 reviews
Profile Image for Allison.
548 reviews566 followers
Shelved as 'tried-not-for-me'
July 24, 2017
The language in the American version has been Americanized. I read maybe two pages and couldn't take it, it's so pervasive. I can see modifying the spelling (maybe), but it's completely altered so that it sounds like it's taking place in modern America. (The girls are in 7th grade, etc). I'm going to have to try to get the UK version somehow because it's all wrong!

I think it's a shame. Shouldn't American kids have a chance to realize that things are different in other parts of the world, and in other time periods? They might find it exotic. Interesting. Eye-opening. I know when I was a kid, I loved books like that. I never went to boarding school in 1930s England, but I can still imagine it, and the language is part of the ambiance. Kids can handle completely imaginary worlds with words that never existed before. How condescending to think that they are incapable of understanding a slightly different version of English. This just seems like dumbing down to me.
Profile Image for Nicole.
399 reviews13.1k followers
February 19, 2022
Oj ta przyjaźń nie jest zbyt zdrowa
Profile Image for Alice, as in Wonderland.
118 reviews16 followers
April 29, 2015
My issue with this book starts and ends with Daisy. As a very obvious Sherlock Holmes fan, I'm going to take a gander and guess that the author really enjoys Sherlock and not Elementary, because Elementary is a show about a steadfast partnership that might not have gotten off on the most perfect of starts but evolves into a friendship that is as equal and understanding of each other's faults and assets. I can tell that this author watches Sherlock because Daisy is Sherlock. Right down from her absolute arrogance, and her lack of mind for consequences - largely because she clearly grew up in an environment thoroughly lacking them, which is supposed to, I guess, make me feel sympathy for her, except that it merely makes me feel like she's an upper class privileged little miss. She's smart but she pretends to be not. She's rich, impulsive, that magical perfectly gifted level of intelligent that all Holmes and Holmes-archetypes these days now suffer, and never suffers emotional consequences of her actions and feels little to remorse manipulating and constantly abusing someone she apparently calls a friend, and uses her quite often merely as an errand girl, and gets away with it because Hazel is so starry-eyed for Daisy, whether she is angry at her or not, that she is unable to resist. God, it is quite literally as though the show Sherlock was imposed on this book, it's awful. It's such a horrible representation of a friendship that is damaging, but it's okay because hey, she apologizes once, right? The second half of this book is only bearable because of it, and even then Daisy exhibits clear privilege and dominance over Hazel.

The argument between the two of them in the book infuriated me, because again, the friendship feels entirely not like a friendship, as opposed a partial worship of an immigrant who understood and understands the immediate status quo of her, an Asian in a European country, and what is literally a white, blonde, blue-eyed girl. It is heart breaking to me, an Asian girl, to see my childhood rather well illustrated, but with none of the emotional and mature growth of me eventually realizing that this couldn't stand, that to consider white people better than me in an inherent fashion because they get the stories and the films - I picked this book up because an Asian girl was in it. And the book immediately starts with Hazel more or less being subservient to Daisy, talking about how she's happy to be the Watson. Not the Watson of Elementary, or even of Doyle's Holmes, who, in his different way, is respected and revered by Holmes, to the point that Holmes admits that Watson's knowledge of his actual profession (medicine) is equal/exceeds his own. The whole book I was desperately hoping that it turns out that Hazel is right, and that they abolish "Secretary" and "President" entirely, but only some of that happens, and it's certainly not enough. I certainly don't bloody understand why Hazel feels the need to apologize, and the scene is presented as though it's two friends understanding the error of their ways when it's pretty clearly been Daisy. Daisy shuts Hazel down. Daisy continually dismisses Hazel's totally valid fear of BEING MURDERED. Daisy is in fact Hazel's bully, according to their first meeting - AND THIS HARDLY CHANGES.

Probably I am one of few people who view the relationship (and the whole general show) of Sherlock to be frustrating, and definitely not a depiction of people who actually are friends. But if you do, then I guess you'd like this book. I'd probably give this a berth if you're Asian as well, because god, we already deal with this in day to day life, why would you subject yourself to more of it here, where it actually doesn't reach a point where you understand that white people are not inherently more interesting for their whiteness and just stays in a miserable status quo where having a basic modicum of decency leveled at you is the best you can ask for?

I'm going to go watch Elementary.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
673 reviews5,464 followers
August 15, 2021
You can watch my interview with author Robin Stevens on my YouTube channel here, where we talk spoiler-free about the series: https://youtu.be/NZBWsJBsgRs

A thoroughly enjoyable and promising start to a middle grade mystery series!

Daisy and Hazel are students at Deepdean School for Girls and run their own Detective agency. One day, Hazel comes across the body of one of her teachers, and after going for help, discovers the body has gone! Not only do Daisy and Hazel have to solve the murder mystery, but they have to prove that a murder happened in the first place.

This was a fast read and so easy to fall into, making it such an enjoyable reading experience. I've never read a middle grade murder mystery and I wasn't sure how it was going to work, but I found myself rather riveted by the events and I was questioning throughout who did it and where the story was going to go. There were enough turns to keep this story interesting to the end.

I really liked Hazel and seeing it all in her perspective. Daisy was rather insufferable and I didn't like the way she would treat Hazel sometimes. But at the same time, Daisy can be so supportive and encouraging to Hazel, so I was confused by how I felt about Daisy. I think it will be interesting to see where her character goes from here because I think there is still a lot more to learn about her. Either way, Daisy and Hazel make a brilliant team together.

I only ever hear great things about the rest of the series so I am very excited to read more of Wells and Wong. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie who want to venture into middle grade.
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,146 reviews502 followers
September 27, 2014
Well say hello to a combination of Nancy Drew, Veronica Mars and Blyton's boarding school books. Add to that a touch of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and you've got it made!

Only this time it is 1934. Thirteen-year-old girls Hazel Wong(from Hong Kong) and Daisy Wells (from the English upper classes) have formed their own secret club, the Wells and Wong Detective Society at the Deepdean School for Girls in England. They are quite successful in digging up secrets from everybody in school, with Daisy the number one snoop. She is the perfect English girl, highly popular, and knows everything about everyone and she's good at it.

Hazel Wong is her side-kick, initially the quiet, polite one, meticulously clean and precise in everything she did. Until she discovered the secret to melt into the mass of girls in the school. Sloppiness and less-clean appearances were expected. It was the secret of the rich girls in school. Never show wealth! Whatever you were, never strive to be the brightest girl in class either! Mediocrity is the name of the game. Fake it. Act. Be good at it. Hazel was not only extremely intelligent, she also turned out to be the second best pretender in school. Daisy was the best. And that is the reason why they became the best of friends.

Prestige, honor, and tradition draw the best of the best to the school. Teachers were strictly selected for positions at the school. It was just the perfect set-up. Life was perfect.

But then Miss Bell was no longer at the school. She resigned, was the official announcement. Hazel knew better. She found Miss Bell's body in the gym, went for help, and when she returned, the body was gone!

The Wells and Wong Detective Society had suddenly their work cut out for them and they had to act fast to prevent the murderer from getting away with it. But oh dear, for every murder there is a murderer, and more skeletons appear out of nowhere in the closets! What to do!?

COMMENTS: Hazel Wong is the young narrator of the tale and never ceases to keep up the lively, vivid energy of two thirteen-year-old girls. There's nothing childish about the story. The prose is funny, witty, innocent, wise. I constantly smiled and sniggered for the actions of these two ambitious girls and their dorm mates.

I loved this whodunit. The drama managed to keep me totally immersed in the atmosphere of the time, the labyrinth of suspects, the guessing of motives and the neverending suspense.

The other reason why I loved this book, is because I attended a similar girls school. I felt so at home in the halls and dorms of the age old buildings and its occupiers. I totally identified with the characters. It was a superb trip down memory lane. Even the church pipe organ in the hall of Deepdean School for Girls was familiar.

Overall I am of the opinion that this book is just as enjoyable for grown-ups as it is for teenage girls. Well-written, well-plotted and well-done.

The ARC was made available by Simon & Schuster through edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com for review.
Thank you for the opportunity. What a delight!

Profile Image for Jennybeast.
3,390 reviews12 followers
August 22, 2014
Oh, I'm so torn! I liked this book. I liked the story and the characters -- yay for kid British sleuths, yay for a smart, Asian girl main character. But.

This is so very much an American's version of a British school -- the author is constantly going out of the way to explain words to us and then even includes a glossary at the end -- that is overkill, and it feels like a condescending voice in the middle of the story "educating" the audience, since we're too dumb too know what she's talking about. Kids are more sophisticated than that. If you use the terms in context, the kids will figure it out. If you want to include a glossary afterwards, that's great -- but you don't need both. And there are a lot of British boarding school books out there. This book? Is not inventing the genre, so does not need to explain all the words.

No British school system uses grades. They use the word Form and the numbering system is completely different from American schools. It's glaring, especially given how pedantic the writer is about using authentic terminology in other places. Either it's a British boarding school or it isn't. Make up your mind.

Hazel is great as a character, except for the self-hate thing. Despite the fact that she is a plucky, intelligent girl, she constantly describes herself as fat and unappealing and uses words that emphasize how bad she feels about herself, in contrast to her lovely, perfectly English friend of the beautiful blue eyes and blonde, blonde hair. Really? The stereotyping is over the top, Daisy is a bully, and at no point in the story is there any indication that Hazel is wrong to feel that way about herself.

I'm not sure if I'm annoyed or delighted with the frequent references to lesbianism -- on the whole, I think it's kind of cool that it is blatant in this story -- between teachers, between older girls, and in the pashes that girls have on one another -- but I think that may be part of why the book isn't reading as British to me -- all of those elements would be in a British version of this story, sure, but they would be more subtle, not openly acknowledged. Is this meant to be present-day? If so, then the open acceptance of homosexuality would be a lovely and refreshing thing. Since it doesn't seem like it, that doesn't really work.

That's the other hazy thing. When is this book meant to take place? Clearly the fashion is for cloche hats. They have automobiles, and women live independently. Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie are known writers. However, there is a huge stigma on out-of-wedlock children, and teachers can be dismissed for marrying, so I don't know. It's really unclear, and I think that leads to some of my confusion about all the rest of the things.

Aaaaand I see now that it's supposed to be 1934. Nope. I don't buy that even a little bit.

The plot is great, the characters are endearing. If someone would edit this book with an eye towards specificity, it might be worth recommending. And I'm sorry for being so harsh about it, but my disappointment is the keener for enjoying the book as much as I did.

Advanced Reader's Copy provided by Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Francisca.
183 reviews83 followers
November 16, 2022
The idea of setting a murder mystery in a boarding school is not the most original one, but thanks to the constrain of the setting and Steven’s clear knowledge of the genre, it works quite well.

A boarding school is a closed environment ruled by a strict order. Within such a place, the pupils, girls in this case, live by the toll of the bell, moving from bedroom to classroom to dinner room all at once and without delay. Yet, like any place where humans, even young ones, lived bounded by rules, there is rebellion. Albeit, rebellion here blooms in little acts, things—precious detective books and various knickknacks—are kept hidden from those in charge and any sign of intelligence is disguised to keep mistresses and fellow pupils in the dark about one’s true abilities.

A superb background for any mystery story, yes. Add to it that Robin Stevens writing is pitch perfect, capturing the 1930’s clipped diction and the restless isolation and desperate need to belong of the girls, while highlighting the achy need for attention every pupil feels within the walls of Deepdean boarding school and you have an entertaining story.

Hazel Wong, secretary to the Wells & Wong Detective Society, narrates this first case (first book in what is now an extensive series). Hazel is a sympathetic character. The daughter of a Hong Kong businessman, she doesn’t look or sound (or think) like the other girls. And kudos to Stevens for handling the racism and culture clashes skillfully as Hazel recollects the many ways in which she learned how to fit in (as much as she could, at least).

Meanwhile Daisy (Wells & Wong Detective Society President) is more the norm of the Deeodean school girls. But there’s more to her than it first meets the eye and, under the front of a heedless, ordinary but popular girl, a need to know everything drives brilliant Daisy to investigate all she can about her school. A need that only grows when Miss Bell, the science mistress, is murdered.

The more imaginative Hazel, who actually discovered the corpse, is less callous. Yet, much like Holmes and Watson, they make a good team. One that I rooted for, as the young amateur detectives try to uncover what really happened by sorting through the prevailing gossip in order to start seeing their mistresses and masters as human beings.

This novel could have felt heavy. Fortunately, there’s a strong comic vein running through it, as the schoolgirl viewpoint keeps the reader enclosed in that youthful ignorance and prejudice that seems naïve but real, giving dimension to what could have been a cartoonish representation of the young girls lives and thoughts.

Altogether, this is a satisfying read for fans of girl-centered middle grade adventure books but also for older fans of historical mysteries.
Profile Image for Hilary .
2,196 reviews398 followers
September 16, 2020
This started off as a 5 star read. This predates A Girl Called Justice and I could see how much this book had inspired Elly Griffith's A Girl Called Justice in many ways and we were so please this book, unlike the Justice books had plenty of slang words and references to the time period it was set in. Unfortunately the US version has had all these words replaced by US terms which would completely ruin it for me, luckily I read a UK version.

After a great start this became way too drawn out, too much recapping of who were suspects etc but there were many interesting elements and storylines, if it had been shorter it would have been much more enjoyable for us.

Some interesting characters, we enjoyed the character of Hazel but found her friendship with the bossy and overly perfect Daisy slightly dissapointing although probably a realistic portrayal of friendship of the time between a wealthy English girl and a newly arrived Asian girl, I hope their friendship developes on more equal terms in future books.

We guessed the murderer early on but it was fun to find clues. We did appreciate the attention to detail of the period of history the story was set in, I've no idea why the publishers would feel the need to get rid of this big plus point of the story for the US reader.
Profile Image for Magdalena Miękińska (getbooky).
163 reviews9,778 followers
July 21, 2020
3.5 ⭐️ ponieważ jest to fajna książka dla młodszego czytelnika i właśnie pod tym względem ją oceniałam, jednak dla starszych osób moim zdaniem nie jest już za dobra
Profile Image for Lisa Vegan.
2,748 reviews1,214 followers
September 17, 2020
This review is for the edition I read, the edition published specifically for readers in the United States.

The title was changed from the originally published English edition. The original title is Murder Most Unladylike. Much of the vocabulary in the story has also been Americanized from the original British English. I hate when this is done. When I’m reading an English boarding school story I want to feel as though it is taking place in England. Readers are being underestimated in what they’ll be able to understand. Especially in modern times it is very, very easy to look up words, school grades, etc. British English to American English. I do not want that done for me. Some of the joy for us readers in the United States is to feel immersed in the culture from other countries, and I like the original vocabulary from the UK, England, Australia, etc. when I read a book with events taking place in those countries just as I like regional dialect when reading about different states/areas within the United States. My enjoyment was diminished because of the changes made. Also, the events were supposed to be taking place in the 1930s but except for one aspect of the mystery, a very few references, a phrase or two, and the lack of computers, cell phones, etc. it could have been taking place at many times. There was no good sense of place. Also, it was not a page-turner for me. It dragged at times. I had to rush to finish it before my library e-copy came due.

I was surprised at how scary I found it at times. It was not a cozy mystery (although there was no violence on the page) and it didn’t have that much humor in it.

As I read I thought I had most of it figured out. I was wrong.

I did like the narrator Hazel. She was the best thing about the book for me. The other half of the friendship pair Dairy kind of gave me the creeps but there were good things about her and their friendship story was interesting.

I felt like either an idiot or a heroine for finishing this. My goal is to read only 5 star and 4 star books and I could tell not too, too far into the book that I would rate this book either 3 or 2 stars, and not 5 or 4.

I would have liked it a bit more had I read it as a kid and I think I would have liked it a lot more had I read the U.K. edition.

I found the book to be disappointing.

2-1/2 stars. I did like it but it took me forever to read it because I struggled to get through it. It’s hard for me to choose 3 stars (I liked it) or 2 stars (It was okay.) (I think 3-1/2 stars had I been able to read the UK edition and possibly 4 stars had I read it at ages 9-11.) I wont read more books in the series unless I can find UK editions. I just looked through my list (not that many) of 2 star rated books and this book is better than most of them so I am rounding up even though I think I’m being generous.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,057 reviews353 followers
June 23, 2020
Middle Grade Monthly pick for June 2020.

An interesting little cosy middle grade mystery that isn't without its problems. It's a story of Sherlock and Holmes for the younger reader as we join school friends Daisy and Hazel as they try to unlock the mysteries surrounding a teacher's untimely demise.

I found Daisy quite irritating as a character. She's an awful friend, often bullying Hazel into doing things she doesn't want to do and being rather unsympathetic towards her peers in her pursuit of answers. She's bossy and arrogant, which contrasts harshly with Hazel's underdog status as the new 'foreign' girl at the school. I would have loved the roles to have been reversed. Why can't we have more Asian main characters who are full of life, intelligent and don't have to hide it behind a white, blonde girl?

Which leads me rather neatly into my other issue, which is the odd message I think this tries to present to young readers regarding xenophobia. I get that it's historical, people though differently of minority ethnicities in the past, but I still found some of the choice of wording quite odd and, to be honest, it made me uncomfortable. The story didn't really try to address why Hazel experienced this behaviour towards her, and explain how it wasn't ok.

The plot and pacing are reasonably good, and the mystery is tied up neatly by the end, but I just found it all a bit lacking in substance. There's no much there beyond the girls finding clues and making rather fortunate discoveries or being in the right place at the right time. There's a lot of telling, without allowing the reader to form their own opinions and ideas. Yes, I know it's a middle grade, but children are actually pretty smart. Especially ones who read. There's also no suspense or atmosphere, and as such I wasn't particularly invested in what happened. I struggled to finish this, and it's only a short book. Also, it doesn't feel authentic. I'd rather read some Mallory Towers.

Interesting premise for a middle grade, but this lacks some of the grit and intrigue needed to thrive and hold my attention. I also can't get past the off hand casual xenophobia towards Hazel.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,693 reviews855 followers
December 14, 2022
#2) Arsenic for Tea ★★★★☆
#3) First Class Murder ★★★★☆
#4) Jolly Foul Play ★★★★☆
#5) Mistletoe and Murder ★★★★☆
#6) A Spoonful of Murder ★★★★☆
#7) Death in the Spotlight ★★★★★
#8) Top Marks for Murder ★★★★★
#9) Death Sets Sail ★★★★★

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Hazel (mc) is Chinese; Daisy (mc) is a lesbian; sapphic scs.

BlogTrigger Warning DatabaseStoryGraph
Profile Image for Michela.
104 reviews58 followers
June 17, 2018
Vado ogni anno a Mare di Libri, il festival dei ragazzi che leggono, che si svolge a Rimini: sono svergognatamente fuori target, naturalmente, dato che ormai ho 30 anni, ma è la piccola Michela che ha scoperto Harry Potter a 14 che ogni anno si sente accolta a questa manifestazione (che purtroppo allora non c'era, essendo il 2018 la IX edizione).
Nell'incontro in cui hanno presentato la serie che comincia con questo libro, mi aspettavo sì di parlare con qualche autore che aveva tanto amato Agatha Christie, ma non Robin Stevens: un'altra hufflepuff (tassofrasso per i nuovi lettori di Harry Potter) come me, in un vestitino azzurro pieno di cupcake (stupendo!), dolcissima, simpatica e molto arguta. Quando ho fatto firmare la mia copia, nonostante la mia (veneranda) età, mi ha consegnato un badge della Detective Society dei libri. Lo porterò con orgoglio.
Non mi ci è voluto molto per convincermi a leggere questo libro, che ho divorato oggi, dalla prima all'ultima pagina.
Daisy e Hazel sono due studentesse di una boarding school inglese degli anni 30: scoprono che c'è stato un caso di omicidio a scuola e, grazie alla loro società investigativa (di due soli membri!), cercano di risolvere il mistero. La particolarità delle due protagoniste è che Daisy è la ragazza perfetta e popolare, ma nonostante questo facile da amare, e che Hazel è un po' timida ma molto intelligente... e viene da Hong Kong: il padre, amante dell'Occidente dove ha studiato lui stesso, l'ha mandata a studiare là.
Gli opposti si attraggono e si completano, e la storia di questa amicizia è veramente una di quelle che ti scalda il cuore. È un libricino di 270 pagine, scorrevolissimo, intrigante, ben scritto, con personaggi che non puoi fare a meno di amare.
Concludo solo con una piccola storia: una bimba che aspettava di firmare le sue copie (tra le tante ragazze e ragazzi in fila) era proprio dietro di me. In realtà aveva già fatto firmare i suoi libri, ma aveva convinto la madre a comprarle anche l'ultimo della saga, e quindi aveva di nuovo atteso il suo turno. Mi sono offerta di lasciarle il mio, anche se eravamo le ultime due, ma è stata molto garbata e ha aspettato. Si è fatta un selfie con lei, ha la sua firma... eppure quando scende, eccitatissima, dal palchetto dove c'era il tavolo e l'autrice, esprime un altro desiderio: un abbraccio. Inutile dire che la madre, io e tutto il resto dei presenti l'abbiamo incoraggiata a chiedere, dato che la Stevens era tanto tenera e dolce come i cupcake che aveva sul vestito. Insomma, dopo il caloroso abbraccio, la bimba era la più felice della sua specie, scossa da gridolini da piccola fangirl in erba. Quando i libri ti rendono tanto felice ed entusiasta, devono essere belli, e farti particolarmente bene.
Profile Image for Elevetha .
1,747 reviews167 followers
December 18, 2015
I can't complain, as far as just mystery goes. It was fascinating, because there was so much misdirection that I honestly completely neglected to notice the obvious clues as to whom was the murderer. Cleverly written, I'll say that.

However, I found Daisy and Hazel's friendship to be problematic. Daisy manipulates and pushes Hazel around, also placing herself as more important and belittling Hazel's place in their detective "agency" , and Hazel is just so desperate to be friends with her that she allows Daisy to do all of this. Now that is not the problem. This is probably a very common real-world problem that needs to be addressed. And Daisy does come to recognize that she needs to treat Hazel better, assure her and confirm that she is an important part of their "agency", and even start being Hazel's friend rather than idol. All well and good, but what IS the problem I found here is that even though all this happens, it's done so poorly, I couldn't believe that Daisy really changed. Her character development as regarding her friendship with Hazel felt fake, flat, and forced because it was too quick, like flicking a switch.

And the other thing that really brought this down was the bi/lesbian teachers and schoolgirls literally everywhere. I mean, everywhere. And not only everywhere, but constantly mentioned. Like, no. A. This is a kid's book, and the fact that there was a bi/lesbian/straight love triangle is bad enough for an adult to be subjected to and B. I refuse to believe that apparently nearly all the members of this whole damn boarding school are lesbian. Not even mentioning the fact that IF they were, the book is set in the 1930's and, historically speaking, they would have tried harder to hide it, and IF it was discovered and mentioned, it wouldn't have been done nearly so favorably/blasely.

Anyways. I can't believe I remembered all that as well as I did. It's been a whole 3 months!!!
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,543 reviews33.9k followers
Want to read
July 20, 2016
We unveiled the U.S./Canadian cover for MURDER IS BAD MANNERS today at The Midnight Garden!

"Half of the magic of Harry Potter comes from Hogwarts, after all, and I lived the closest thing to Hogwarts there is."
~ Robin Stevens

The author tells us about how her own boarding school experience helped to shape this cozy murder mystery set in the 1930s, plus we have an early ARC giveaway!

Profile Image for Aleshanee.
1,392 reviews93 followers
March 7, 2017
4.5 Sterne für einen spannenden Mordfall im historischen England!

Meine Meinung

Ich bin durch Zufall über diese Reihe gestolpert, da ich etwas in der Richtung gesucht habe. Mich hat ja schon die Flavia Reihe sehr begeistert und auch der Einzelband "Lasst uns schweigen wie ein Grab" - junge Mädels, die Mordfälle aufklären vor dem Schauplatz des historischen Englands - das klingt einfach toll und wird auch hier bezaubernd umgesetzt!

Robin Stevens setzt das ganze ein bisschen im Stil von Sherlock Holmes fort.
Hazel Wong ist 13 Jahre alt und noch nicht so lange auf dem Internat. Ihre Herkunft aus Hongkong hat ihr den Einstieg nicht leicht gemacht, und nach und nach erfährt man, wie sich ihre Freundschaft zu Daisy entwickelt hat. Hazel erzählt das ganze aus ihrer Sichtweise (wie Watson) und Daisy Wells ist der treibende, alles im Dunkeln aufdecken wollende Kraft ihrer kleinen Detektivgemeinschaft.

Während Hazel eher ruhig und vorsichtig ist, lässt sie sich sehr sehr leicht von Daisys unbeschwerter Art mitreißen. Die beiden Mädels sind eigentlich wie Feuer und Wasser, vor allem, da Daisy ein sehr beliebtes und angesehenes Mitglied des Internats ist, zu dem die Jüngeren aufsehen - und das lässt sie sich auch gerne anmerken! Aber es steckt doch noch etws mehr dahinter. Die forsche, unerschrockene Art ist Hazel oft nicht ganz geheuer, aber die beiden entwickeln ein tolles Gespür.
Sie finden recht schnell Verdächtige, die hinter dem Mord an Mrs Bell stecken könnten und ermitteln auf eigene Faust auf eine ihnen ganz eigenwillige und geschickte Weise.
Dabei sind sie nicht immer einer Meinung und ich muss gestehen, dass mir Daisy anfangs nicht unbedingt sympathisch war. Anfangs ;)

Ich konnte jedenfalls super selber miträtseln, denn es gibt viele Spuren, denen man folgen kann, aber auch Hinweise, die gut gestreut sind und auch zu dem empfohlenen Lesealter passen. Das könnte an manchen Stellen auch ein bisschen unheimlich für jüngere Gemüter sein.

Die Schreibweise ist an die historische Zeit angepasst, aber trotzdem noch so gehalten, dass es Kindern und Jugendlichen leicht fallen wird; es ist durchweg flüssig und spannend und ich wollte es nicht mehr aus der Hand legen.

Hinten im Buch gibt es dann noch ein kurzes Glossar (von Daisy) über ein paar der Begriffe, von denen der ein oder andere vielleicht nicht so geläufig ist, in ihrer Art auf witzige Weise präsentiert.
Ich freue mich jedenfalls schon sehr auf den zweiten Band und hoffe, dass auch die anderen Teile bald ins Deutsche übersetzt werden.

Der zweite Fall "Teestunde mit Todesfall" erschien am 16. Februar 2017
(im Original sind bereits 5 Bände der Reihe erschienen)

© Aleshanee
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,328 reviews110 followers
July 9, 2021
This book was quite a surprise to me. I haven't read books in this age category for quite a long time and probably that's why I was so surprised by what I found here.

This is a book that is suitable for both children and adult readers. There are many things that will be appreciated and valued primarily by mature readers, but at the same time there is no fear that this book will be boring for children. I like how many quite adult themes the author has casually put into this story. We have here, for example, xenophobia, but also a same-sex couple, of which at least one of the partners is bisexual. All this is presented very subtly, but unmistakably.

The whole mystery part is very interesting. The plot is set in the second half of the 1930s in a boarding school for girls. The main character, a schoolgirl named Hazel, one evening finds the body of her science teacher in the gymnasium, but when she returns there after a while, the body is gone. At the urging of her best friend Daisy, the girls decide to solve the mystery. There are many twists and interesting clues to discover. The entire book is somewhat reminiscent of Agatha Christie's.

I really liked the expressive and complex characters. Both children and adults. Daisy and Hazel are very resolute young girls. I am also happy that the relationship between these best friends was an important aspect of this book. I especially liked the way Hazel judged her friend's character and the motives behind their friendship. These are superbly written children's characters. But I liked the adult characters in this book just as much. I think that the author has managed to perfectly show that they also have their own problems, which can sometimes affect their attitude towards the students.

All in all, this is an excellent book. I never thought I'd come back to reading children's books again, but I'm beginning to think that I might be missing a lot.
Profile Image for Rosava Doshchyk.
300 reviews53 followers
April 1, 2021

Хотіла б поставити 3.5 зірочок, але так не можна)
Я люблю підліткові детективи, ще цікавішим є "піджанр" дівчачих детективів, де кілька дівчат розслідують якийсь злочин. Додаймо сюди трошки екзотичних декорацій — 1934 рік, пансіонат для багатих дівчат, і маємо непогану базу для цілої серії.
Чесно кажучи, початок мене трохи збив, але ближче до середини історія почала розкривати свою привабливість. Найбільше мені сподобалося, як авторка зображає підліткове дівчаче спілкування. Я провчилася у класі, де з 34 людей було лише 6 хлопців, тому я розумію, яка це вибухова спільнота. Дружба (?) Дейзі і Гейзел, їхні персонажі — це ідеальний зріз. Я залюбки слідкуватиму за тим, як розвиватимуться їхні стосунки з процесом дорослішання.
Детективна складова добра, але, відчуваю, що в другій частині буде краща. Бо якщо у першій частині нам одразу дають убивство, але жодних особливо підозріливих персонажів, то у другій частині ми зустрічаємо одразу кілька підозріливих персонажів ще до злочину. Це одразу підвищує градус цікавості до подальшого сюжету.
Повний відгук на моєму блозі.
Profile Image for April (Aprilius Maximus).
1,089 reviews6,598 followers
December 3, 2020
representation: Chinese MC, dyslexic side character.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


This was fun but I definitely had to suspend my disbelief a lot! As if they wouldn't be absolutely shitting buckets if people kept getting murdered around them. Instead they were OMG LET'S INVESTIGATE THIS IS SOOO FUN. lol wtf. It was a fun historical mystery that kept me guessing, none the less!

trigger warnings: murder (obviously lol), brief mention of suicide, brief mention of drowning, racism, lots of stereotyping, fat shaming, vomiting.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,136 reviews1,316 followers
February 11, 2018
A wonderfully charming crime story accessible to readers of all ages.

We are introduced to Daisy and Hazel, two pupils who attended Deepdean School for Girls. They're curious in solving mystery and set up their own detective agency.

When Hazel discovers the body of Science Mistress, Miss Bell in the school gym. It gives the girls their first opportunity to try and solve a case.

I really liked the time setting of 1930's, it gives a real authentic feel.
The author clearly is a fan of Agatha Christie.
It wouldn't be a crime novel without references to Holmes and Watson either!

The fact that the reveal came as a complete surprise made me love this story more, will certainly read the rest in the series.
Profile Image for milena ʚïɞ.
89 reviews3 followers
April 7, 2021
Moim zdaniem ta książka była po prostu nudna, monotonna i przewidywalna. Tak, to jest kryminał młodzieżowy więc nie byłam nastawiona na coś niesamowitego, ale mimo wszystko było słabo. Bohaterki irytujące, naiwne i głupiutkie, wykreowanie nauczycieli na poziomie 0 bo nie mamy żadnego zarysu aby ich chociażby rozróżnić. Nie wykorzystany potencjał klimatu lat 30, fabuła na prawdę nudna i nie wydarzyło się nic czego bym się nie spodziewała. Styl pisania też mi jakoś nie podszedł specjalnie, męczyłam się czytając, nie polecam nikomu szczególnie powyżej 12 lat...:(
Profile Image for thebooksthief_ Ania ✨.
367 reviews111 followers
March 14, 2021
Książka zdecydowanie dla młodszego czytelnika. Pierwszy rozdział był bardzo ciekawy, ale już w trzecim zgadłam zakończenie i kto zabił. Bohaterki są głupiutkie i denerwujące. Język jest infantylny, a fabuła jest płytka i sztuczna.
Jednak szybko się czyta i przyjemnie ( oprócz dialogów bohaterek).
Książka z wydawnictwa Dwukropek, kupiona na livro.
Profile Image for Book Reviews by Anita .
40 reviews997 followers
January 13, 2021
4.5⭐️ Świetny kryminał dla dzieci i młodszej młodzieży! Niestety nie polubiłam się z Daisy. Nie rozumiem tej przyjaźni. Ale wątek kryminalny naprawdę przyjemny :) No i kocham Hazel!
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,137 followers
January 2, 2017
This was just a whole book of fun. It had a murder mystery, of course, was set in a border school and had a POC narrator! What more could you ask for? I loved the atmosphere and the 1930s setting (despite the what would now be considered politically incorrect terms used in regards to Hazel). I'd love to read the other books in the series, now that the characters have been established, and I'll definitely be scanning my local libraries for the sequel! What an excellent book to ring in the new year!
Profile Image for Katie Lumsden.
Author 1 book2,710 followers
July 21, 2016
Well this was thoroughly delightful, a well written and entertaining murder mystery with great characterisation. Just such good fun.
Profile Image for Zuzanna.
127 reviews14 followers
July 24, 2022
Przyjemna rozrywka, na pewno sięgnę po dalsze tomy.
Profile Image for Sarah.
281 reviews
January 26, 2016
I really enjoyed this book!

First of all, the whole 1930's setting really appealed to me and I thought that it was pulled off really well. I don't have much knowledge of boarding school for girls in the 30's, but the language the girls were using and the descriptions of the clothes, food and lessons seemed pretty on point to me. I loved the language they used and it was full of 'rathers', and 'frightfuls', and 'shocking good sport' and so on and it just really amused me! It made the world come alive to me. In my head I really could imagine the two main characters of Daisy and Hazel and their lessons.



The plot itself was fun as well, the mystery of who murdered the science teacher was fast paced and full of mystery. I liked the added fact that the body went missing as well, so no one knew that there had been a murder. And I didn't guess who the murderer was until the girls themselves realised, so well done to the book for that!

I loved the character of Hazel, hearing the story from her point of view was great because you got such a good insight to her. It was interesting to have the added fact that she is from Hong Kong and not at all like a 'typical 1930's English girl,' and to hear how she so wants to be like Daisy and the others is quite heart-breaking. There is subtle racism towards her as she is not English, and I think it is good for children to read this sort of things in books, and hopefully understand that what they are saying is not ok. But it was well done as this issue is not the main focus of the book, and it doesn't take over from the story. Also another issue you can see being raised, is the friendship between Hazel and Daisy. Daisy is a bully, she bullies Hazel into lots of things, and she uses friendship as tool to do it. I'm sure we have all known a 'Daisy' before, who is so good at everything, likes to be in the know, likes to be first, glamourous and so on. But you cannot help but like her as well! Towards the end of the book she does start treating Hazel a bit better, and I hope she continues to be a better friend!

I also love the design of the front cover, it is so simple and yet effective! I Love it!

All in all, this is a great detective book, with some fantastic characters, a good mystery with an amusing setting! I cannot wait to read the next one!
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